If only the Cal Bears football team could make it look so easy.
The Cal Bears opened a quick two-touchdown lead Monday night … scratch that … a 14-0 lead over the visiting Southern Utah Thunderbirds and were never threatened in a 75-47 win at Haas Pavilion.
The Bears (4-0) led by as many as 24 points in the first half, going up 35-11 and 37-13 before Southern Utah (1-2) mounted a bit of a rally to get it to 39-20 at intermission.
Cal took its biggest lead of the night with 7:20 remaining in the game when Ricky Kreklow buried a 3-pointer to give the Golden Bears a 68-30 lead.
Richard Solomon scored seven of his 14 points during Cal’s 14-0 blitz to open the game and the Golden Bears held the Thunderbirds to just 29.3 percent shooting (17-for-58). That made up for an uneven night offensively for Cal, which shot 42.6 percent (23-for-54).
Only two Golden Bears scored in double figures, but 10 different players found the scoring column. Tyrone Wallace had 15 points and Solomon had a season-high 14 to go with seven rebounds and three blocks. David Kravish had nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks while Ricky Kreklow and Jordan Mathews came off the bench to score nine points each.
Justin Cobbs handed out eight assists and the Bears survived an off night from freshman Jabari Bird, who scored eight points on 1-of-3 shooting and committed four turnovers.
A.J. Hess socred 14 points to lead Southern Utah, which got seven rebounds each from Jayson Cheesman, Juwan Major and Casey Oliverson. Cheesman also had a pair of blocked shots.
The game was a homecoming of sorts for Thunderbird coach Nick Robinson, who played for Cal coach Mike Montgomery when the Golden Bear mentor was at Stanford. (h/t Associated Press)
Cal will take its undefeated record to Maui next week when it heads to the Maui Invitational. Their first game in the event will be next Monday at noon Pacific when they face Arkansas (3-0) in the tournament opener. From there the Golden Bears will play either Minnesota or Syracuse.The other half of the bracket includes Baylor, Dayton, Gonzaga and host Chaminade.